Sunday May 19 2019
Gasperini: 'Atalanta deserved more'

Gian Piero Gasperini felt “regret” that Atalanta only picked up a point against Juventus, but they are one win away from the Champions League.

“Clearly, before the game had begun, we would’ve been more than happy with a draw, because we needed a result,” the Coach told Radio Rai.

“However, at the final whistle we feel regret, because we deserved the three points and conceded a late goal in a bit of a chaotic fashion after creating so many chances.”

Josip Ilicic’s opener on a corner was cancelled out by substitute Mario Mandzukic, who came sliding on to a Joao Cancelo cross at the far post.

Atalanta visibly ran out of steam towards the end, having played a Coppa Italia Final with Lazio, losing 2-0, on Wednesday night.

“Juventus quite rightly pushed us all the way and wanted to win, but we played very well this evening and have earned every result this season.

“When you play against Juve, it’s hard to do better than we did tonight. We had some good opportunities in the second half too, but conceded perhaps with the least dangerous cross they put in.

“Unfortunately, we had a few players who were feeling the fatigue towards the end, such as Papu Gomez and Ilicic, but that’s natural with three decisive games in one week.

“However, our confidence is now sky high and that is going to be crucial.”

The Bergamo Boys will now mathematically qualify for the Champions League if they beat Sassuolo in the final game.

By a bizarre twist of fate, Atalanta’s last home fixture of the season is against Sassuolo and they are using the Mapei Stadium, Sassuolo’s stadium, because the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia is being restructured.

Sassuolo are therefore both at home and away.

“The Champions League would be extraordinary, but we mustn’t think that it’s already in our grasp. I hope all the fans we had in Rome (for the Coppa Italia Final) can follow us to Reggio-Emilia too.”

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